Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fr John Parker

Dear Ones,Christ is Risen!

Truly Risen!As we have just completed the most-festal weekend in our parish history--the consecration of our new temple--I am only now able to write to you all. I am humbled to be the spiritual father for this missionary team--indeed very grateful.To give you a brief biographical sketch (I ask you all to prepare a paragraph or two like this and send it out by "reply all"): I am married to my wonderful wife of 14 years, Jeanette. We have two sons, Zachary (11) and Sebastian (11). Jeanette and I met at William and Mary and were married a year after college, in 1994.

In my short 'professional' life, I have had many occupations before realizing my vocation as a priest. I was a time-share salesman on Hilton Head Island, SC. I was a regional manager for a college-age franchising house painting business in Philadelphia, PA. I was a middle school Spanish teacher at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. I was on staff at the Church of the Good Samaritan (Episcopal) in Paoli, PA, as a youth minister. I graduated from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA (where I went to an Orthodox Church for the first time) and served as an Episcopal priest for 1 and a half years on Sullivan's Island, SC. My family was then received into the Orthodox faith by Fr John Breck at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC. We returned to seminary--this time to SVS, for a year.

Our beloved Archbishop Dmitri assigned me to the very parish in which we were received, the temple of which he just consecrated last Saturday.I have had inner-city missions experience (Philadelphia, PA); my wife and I were planning to be missionaries in Spain prior to our entrance into the Orthodox Church; this is my first international missions trip.

In the coming days, I hope to prepare some reflections for your consideration, but ask no matter what, that you continue to pray for each of our team by name, each day, as well as for the Nuns and children at the Hogar.If I might suggest a first topic for our consideration it would be this: What does it mean to be a servant? I'll write on this shortly, and send it out. But in a sentence, we are going to the Hogar to be the servants to the children, through the nuns. This will be a tiresome, but immeasurably rewarding experience, thanks to God.So, my friends, may the Lord provide every dollar for our trip, and prepare our hearts for this marvel.Your servant in Christ,Fr John

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